Masahiro Tanaka
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Yankees, Astros lineups for ALCS Game 1

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Following a tense five-game ALDS, the Astros are set to host the Yankees for the first game of the American League Championship Series on Saturday night. Although the Astros needed all five games to defeat the Rays in the first round of the postseason, they haven’t lost a single game at home yet — something that may bode well for them as the first two ALCS games are played out at Minute Maid Park.

The Yankees, on the other hand, coasted to a seamless three-game sweep over the Twins this week, and will be looking to do the same against the AL West champs, too. They’ll send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound for his first postseason start since Game 2 of the ALDS, when he tossed five innings of one-run, one-walk, seven-strikeout ball in an 8-2 win over the Twins. Nothing else has changed in the lineup, though Torres and Sánchez have swapped spots, as have Gregorius and Urshela.

  1. DJ LeMahieu (R) 1B
  2. Aaron Judge (R) RF
  3. Gleyber Torres (R) 2B
  4. Edwin Encarnación (R) DH
  5. Giancarlo Stanton (R) LF
  6. Brett Gardner (L) CF
  7. Gary Sánchez (R) C
  8. Gio Urshela (R) 3B
  9. Didi Gregorius (L) SS

P: Masahiro Tanaka, RHP

The Astros will also bring out their ALDS-clinching lineup for Game 1, with the exception of Josh Reddick and Martín Maldonado. Kyle Tucker will replace Reddick in right field, while Robinson Chirinos will take over for Maldonado behind the dish. Zack Greinke is scheduled to take the ball for Houston; despite running an exceptional regular season campaign, he’s still looking for his first win in October after getting shelled in Game 3 of the ALDS.

  1. George Springer (R) CF
  2. Michael Brantley (L) LF
  3. José Altuve (R) 2B
  4. Alex Bregman (R) 3B
  5. Yordan Alvarez (L) DH
  6. Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
  7. Carlos Correa (R) SS
  8. Kyle Tucker (L) RF
  9. Robinson Chirinos (R) C

P: Zack Greinke, RHP

Game 1 of the ALCS will kick off at 8:08 PM EDT.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.